Interview with Koen Aben, Supply Chain Director of WE Fashion
By Sarah E Taylor-Oracle on Jun 19, 2012
We recently spoke to Koen Aben, the Supply Chain Director of WE Fashion, who gave us some insight into how Oracle supported the international fashion retailer through the completion of a large scale integration project across its 340 European stores. Koen explains the reasoning behind the project which was to create a common retail foundation and to integrate and align working processes to drive insight and enable continued growth. It is always good to hear from someone of Koen’s experience who can articulate the benefits of partnering with the right company for such an extensive project as this.
Koen explains that a crucial element of such a project is to unify business applications into a common platform, adding that for successful growth, retailers really need to achieve enterprise-wide alignment. At the start of the three year project, WE Fashion’s application platform was fragmented impacting the company’s ability to support sustained growth. In light of this, WE Fashion invested in its processes, systems, teams and partnerships to build the needed retail foundation. Now after successfully completing the project, the basis is in place to ensure that growth is unimpeded.
In the video, Koen Aben highlights some of the factors necessary for the success of the project as:
- Having an understanding that the process of creating a growth platform for a company is a long journey
- Accepting that during a lengthy project such as this, there will be high and low points experienced within the project team and the business, but that the relationship with your partners is crucial to the success of the project.
- Having the correct team in place will prove to be the “lynch –pin” of any successful project
Oracle supported Koen and his team in implementing this project, and is recognised for the role it played during this development in partnership with the company. On his experience with working with the Oracle team, Koen points out that in the critical situations, Oracle was there to ensure that the right people were in place whenever needed and this was key to ensuring the project’s success. Since Oracle is one of the few providers that can offer an enterprise-wide retail platform, our best practice approach is key to connecting interactions throughout the business to enable insight and optimise operations.
This is a great example of a large scale international retail project, where the true success of its completion is reflected in how proud the company is about what has been achieved, and the fact that results are already being seen.